The History Behind Tribal Necklaces

Tribal necklaces and jewelry are a hot item in today’s fashion, and they have a beautifully rich history behind them. They’ve been used by men and women since the beginning of time and were traditionally used in ancient times and cultures to display wealth and power, protect against evil spirits, honor deities and elements or to assess someone's affiliation to a certain group or religion.

Today, many tribal necklaces and jewelry are made from materials such as silver, gold, stainless steel or even platinum and diamonds. However, traditional tribal jewelry comes from much simpler materials, such as bones and other animal parts, with intricate designs based on leather, egg shells and even hair!

Tribal Jewelry: Going Beyond Aesthetics

Tribal jewelry has always had some significance beyond aesthetics. For ancient cultures, elements of nature were an important part of everyday life, something to worship, honor and respect, and this is seen throughout their design.

Geometric shapes and patterns, depictions of gods and deities, animals and abstract designs are also common elements found. If you notice, some of the major traits of tribal necklaces and jewelry is that their designs and patterns can be bold and bulky. However some prehistoric tribal necklaces were made from a small item such as a tooth, shell, or piece of horn pierced and strung on a string or thong. Today’s tribal jewelry tries to mimic the same roughness or primitive nature of the more traditional styles.

Tribal Jewelry as Culturally Significant

For many tribes it was custom to bury the dead with their personal jewelry in order to signify wealth and prosperity. Also, the use of talismans, charms and amulets to ward off evil spirits was a common ancient symbolism that has evolved and been incorporated into today’s jewelry design.

If you’re interested in reminiscing and honoring ancient cultures and tribes, tribal necklaces are an interesting accessory to add to your wardrobe, especially now that you understand the history and meaning behind it.


Browse through our selection of exclusively designed tribal necklaces and jewelry pieces to find the right one for you.